As the winners of the 2014 Design is…Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group Blog. Throughout the year, readers will learn about the 40 winning projects. These are their stories.
Matt Murphy, Design Associate, spoke with us about this one-of-a-kind venture.
Describe the project in one word.
Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator is unique venture powered by Sprint Corporation and Techstars, dedicated to the growth of the Kansas City tech and entrepreneurship community. The Accelerator is a beacon for entrepreneurship in the region, bringing start-ups from around the world into Kansas City to work on the future of mobile health technology.
Design is a process. Explain your journey.
Understanding these needs, RMTA concluded the space needed to echo exactly what Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator stands for – creativity, diversity, innovation and first to market. The building was originally erected in 1903 as an ice house. The 12,000 square feet second floor space underwent significant renovations while retaining the original structure to accommodate activities within three distinct sections: Community, Accelerator and Co-working.
Sprint desired an environment to inspire and advocate work-life balance; a place where people would want to be. To address their needs, the space was designed to inspire creativity and collaboration. Sprint also sought a backdrop that would let one know they are indeed in a Sprint space without overwhelming visitors with their universal brand. To formulate this distinct subculture, Sprint provided approvals to set aside conventional use of corporate branding identity including color, logo, icons and typography. These subtle, yet complex reminders of Sprint’s presence in the space radiates throughout without being trite or obtrusive.
The project moved at an expeditious speed; wherein RMTA was retained to survey the space and start the design process at the beginning of August and construction was completed by the end of December that very same year. This meant we had to make clear and succinct decisions without jeopardizing the acuity of the design. Each of the team members had their roles and worked within in them, always putting the project first which made for a great and synergistic process. This practice echoes throughout architecture and design on a daily basis; that each of us plays a small, yet significant part that when churned in unison with hard work, knowledge and passion can result in measurable successes.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
The uniqueness of the design comes from a team whom truly collaborated on all levels. The key to the project’s success was based on pushing the design limits and never accepting the status quo while maintaining the schedule and the budget and never losing sight of the project vision.